Our Sunday morning worship follows the historic Christian liturgy according to the Lutheran tradition, using Lutheran Service Book (LSB). This form of worship, handed down through the centuries, is the way God serves us with the gifts of forgiveness, life and salvation secured by Jesus Christ through His life, death and resurrection. That’s why Lutherans prefer the term “Divine Service” as an acknowledgment that through the Word and Sacraments God serves us!
Our services are about one hour long. They include congregational singing, special music, Scripture readings, and preaching and teaching from the Word of God, the Bible. On the first and third Sundays each month (and on special festivals throughout the Church Year) we also celebrate Holy Communion.
While our services vary each week according to the particular festival or Sunday of the Church Year, the basic structure of the order of service (sometimes called the “liturgy”) remains the same:
Opening Hymn – Praising God for His goodness and blessings given to us and calling upon Him to receive our worship for the sake of Christ.
Confession and Absolution – Acknowledging our sinfulness and our particular sins to God, we receive forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ as the pastor speaks the certain promise of forgiveness to us.
Introit, Psalm or Entrance Hymn – A portion of a psalm or a hymn (often based on a psalm) which introduces the theme for the Sunday or festival, which will be expressed and proclaimed in the Scripture readings, sermon, prayers, and other hymns throughout the service.
Kyrie – The Greek word for Lord, this portion of the service is a general prayer for God’s mercy to be upon us as we come before Him in the Divine Service.
Gloria in Excelsis – This hymn of praise echoes the song of the angels on the night of Jesus’ birth. Sometimes another hymn is sung at this point.
Salutation and Collect of the Day – A greeting between pastor and people, followed by a brief prayer which “collects” the main thoughts to be presented in the Scripture readings which follow and prepares our hearts and minds to listen to the Word of God.
Scripture Readings – These selections from the Bible—typically one from the Old Testament, one from a New Testament epistle (letter), and one from a Gospel (the four books which tell of the life of Jesus)—proclaim an event from the life and ministry of Christ and present some particular doctrine (teaching) for our Christian faith and life.
Creed – A statement of what Christians believe. We usually speak together either the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed, which briefly outline what Christians of all times and places have believed and taught.
Hymn of the Day – A hymn which is historically related to the Gospel reading for the day or sometimes is chosen to highlight and support the message of the sermon, which is based on the Gospel or one of the other Bible readings.
Sermon – A proclamation of what God has graciously done for us through the life and ministry, suffering and death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. The sermon seeks to apply the truth of God’s Word to God’s people and thus prepare us for service to the world in the name of Jesus.
Offering – God’s people respond to His grace and gifts in Christ by returning a portion of what they have received from the Lord. These tithes and offerings support the work of the congregation and the mission of the church at large.
Prayer of the Church – The pastor brings the various concerns and joys of the members to the Lord and prays for the church throughout the world and for all people according to their needs.
The Holy Communion – At services when the Lord’s Supper is celebrated the members of Trinity join together to receive the body and blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sins and the nourishment of faith. At the same time, we join together in the common confession of the Christian faith and joyful celebration of the gifts Christ gives.
Benediction – The blessing of the Triune God placed upon His people as they return to their daily vocations (areas of service to which the Lord has called them).